Touch And The Power of the Horse
Back in 1969, psychologist John Bowlby said that touch is ‘a fundamental element of human development in the process of attachment’ (Bowlby, 1969). Bowlby is famous for his work on childhood development and attachment. Work that to this day influences many childhood development theories and practices.
But touch is a sensitive subject. There’s a whole world of potential issues and problems associated with the use of touch and not surprisingly many people are wary of touching others and actively avoid human contact. But the power of touch should not be underestimated in its ability to create deep bonds and wellbeing.
However, for many of our clients, the physical contact they have with the horses is a key part of their social and emotion learning. From basic stroking through to grooming and even hugging, the physical bond is a powerful one. The gentle acceptance of a horse, placing its head on a young person’s chest demonstrates a bond of unity and ‘oneness’ that some of our clients rarely experience in their everyday lives. For others, the sense of achievement and trust that comes from learning how to walk safely behind a horse through maintaining contact with the horse is empowering. Theses experiences and the emotional reactions some have to these physical bonds enhances personal wellbeing and self-worth.
Author, Stephen Gaskin wrote ‘touch is the first language we speak’. We like to feel that through the horses we give people the chance to both find and express that voice.
If you would like more information on equine therapy please contact Annie on 0411 549562 or email: email@example.com